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Founder of Grow4Flow

Laury Traksel-Janssen

the journey by enty
From Sales Manager to a Personal Coaching Brand
Business is not only about money and paperwork. Most of all, it’s about people, inspiration, and passion. With that in mind, we present you the Journey — a new project where entrepreneurs share how they started their business, what made them successful, what drives them, and how they came up with what they ended up doing.

Today our guest is Laury Traksel-Janssen — founder of Grow4Flow
I believe that business and personal growth go together. If you grow personally, then your business will grow too

Becoming a Solopreneur

I have 18 years of professional experience in Sales, so I can help people learn how to sell products in a nice conversation, let’s say, not being pushy. I use my sales experience in coaching as well as my knowledge of people, how they interact and what they find important.

I work for myself, so I have no employees. The main goal of my business is to help people grow their businesses. I also help them to get more free time besides their business, because most people have a lot of plates spinning, and eventually they want to have more peace. I believe that business and personal growth go together. If you grow personally, then your business will grow too.

I have 18 years of professional experience in Sales, so I can help people learn how to sell products in a nice conversation, let’s say, not being pushy. I use my sales experience in coaching as well as my knowledge of people, how they interact and what they find important.
I work for myself, so I have no employees. The main goal of my business is to help people grow their businesses. I also help them to get more free time besides their business, because most people have a lot of plates spinning, and eventually they want to have more peace. I believe that business and personal growth go together. If you grow personally, then your business will grow too.

Fighting the Demons

I just really want to make people happy, so that they could make the transformation from who they are now to another person who feels happier with their business and their character.
Two main challenges that clients usually come with are either to get more revenue or work less but have the same money. As for the second, you can sell your results instead of hours, you can package your product or services differently and sell dearer, and so on.
The type of my client for me are, for example, self-employed entrepreneurs. They are experienced entrepreneurs who want to make the next step in the business. So I don't work with status and I work for small companies for the directors and what is called MKB (Midden- en Kleinbedrijf means small and medium-sized enterprises - Ed. note) in Holland.

A lot of people don’t have a work/life balance, and also a lot of people have problems with self-trust and self-love. At the end of the day, they don't have a mirror to look at from the side, to help them and speak about their issues, what they really feel, and which decisions they have to make.

Another issue is that people are facing are immediate problems. Basically, you get lost in the routine. Go through emails, get on the calls, deal with something right now. Many things come up.

But in order to grow, long-term planning is a must. Working with me, entrepreneurs eventually find time for growth and free time for themselves.

Building a Long-Term Plan

Actually what I do is make a one-year plan for a person. We look at the personal side and at the business side, so it comes together. We look at very practical things, but also at personal, psychological things like the family systems approach or neurolinguistic programming.

A person says: ‘I always work really hard, and I always give a lot, and it costs me a lot of energy’. Then we look at the family system or through NLP what is needed to prevent overtime. Because we usually have something in the past, we reproduce the same patterns. And if you don't want it to flow into your future, you have to work on it.

We build a plan together. Then we have sessions every week or 2 times a month. Between sessions, people can discover and create some things on the portal, and they can send it to me. In the next session, we speak about what is good, and what can be better. And then they implement that.
Actually, there is a 12-step plan available on my website. But we don’t always accept all these steps. We always look at the situation. And then I help a person to make their way from A to B. On average, it takes from 10 months to a year.

Most clients go to the end of the plan. But if people choose to stop, it’s on them. I have contracts. So if they stop, that's okay, but they are charged for it. Those are really exceptional cases. People who I speak to, are committed to make a difference.

Success

Achieving the result depends fully on your self-trust. I don’t monitor people. But rather I’ve built a system where I work together with clients. So, we have a plan and sessions. We do this, then we do that, and some things come up during the year. We implement the actions.

The desired results depend on the people. Somebody wants more money. There are people, who don’t want more money, they have enough, but they want to have peace. Some people say they feel happy. For example, a person used to work 50 hours a week, and after the program, they make the same money working 3 days a week.

Launching a Business

Eventually, you need around a couple of years. Then if your business grows very well, and you get money than you’d earn in the hire.
Actually, the things that I needed to start working were my phone and the laptop. Now I have a good web camera, but it’s overkill. As for me, you can use a computer and an inbuilt camera to start a consulting business. And you don't need an office, the first year you can work from home.
Now it’s my fourth year as a business coach, I have my own office. But actually, I can work from everywhere. For example, during the corona quarantine, I was in Finland and did some Zoom calls from there, but I prefer to meet people in person.

One more thing you require is a financial cushion. If you start a business and you don’t have an ordinary job anymore, you need some kind of insurance in case of emergencies or any problems. Savings in the must! In my experience, it takes up to 6 months from no client to some clients. There is a credit of trust, and it takes time to earn it.

Also, when I was starting my business, I bought an online course from a guy from the United States. That is what I followed completely, and it helped me build a good foundation for my enterprise. It was about marketing, but it concerned general questions about doing business too. Like what do you deliver, what is your value proposition, etc.

Infrastructure

For our work, I use my portal where I have online videos, workbooks, templates, and everything that people can use during the yearly program. I work with an online tool called Podium. And I also use Google Suite to share things with people and give feedback.

Besides, I have a Google Drive folder where we keep different documents shared with each other like PowerPoints or text documents, or spreadsheets. I used to have planning software, but there were too many notifications. Now I just have an Excel file where we put the dates and everything, and that's it.

Personal Brand

Actually, I used a public platform to develop my logo. It’s a website where you can place an order. You describe what you want and designers from all over the world can send you ideas and see whether it matches. Then someone offered the name ‘Grow for Flow”, and I thought that was it.

And then I needed a logo. Again, I wrote out a potential match, and designers sent different options. One author added a small text to the logo about what it means. He made a story when he was building my logo. And I thought, yeah, that's it. It cost me only 200 euros or something like that.

When I got my logo and company name, I chose a color for the brand myself. Initially, I aimed to use the same way, but they all sent me palettes in purple, blue, or green like ‘basic coach’ colors. I picked red because I like it and also it has meanings of passion and energy. Then I hired a photographer and he made photos of me in a red dress for the website. On that, perhaps, I closed an issue of branding.

Actually, I used a public platform to develop my logo. It’s a website where you can place an order. You describe what you want and designers from all over the world can send you ideas and see whether it matches. Then someone offered the name ‘Grow for Flow”, and I thought that was it.

And then I needed a logo. Again, I wrote out a potential match, and designers sent different options. One author added a small text to the logo about what it means. He made a story when he was building my logo. And I thought, yeah, that's it. It cost me only 200 euros or something like that.

When I got my logo and company name, I chose a color for the brand myself. Initially, I aimed to use the same way, but they all sent me palettes in purple, blue, or green like ‘basic coach’ colors. I picked red because I like it and also it has meanings of passion and energy. Then I hired a photographer and he made photos of me in a red dress for the website. On that, perhaps, I closed an issue of branding.

Marketing

For marketing, I use Facebook and LinkedIn. And I go to some live meetings here. Simple calls also work great for me to make the connection. A phone call is the fastest way and way to create a live network around you. That's for me the easiest way to get clients, but also I get clients via social networks. Last week I’ve got a new client, she saw me on LinkedIn, we made an appointment, and now she’s bought a yearly plan.

So LinkedIn really works for me. I have a free e-book about time management because a lot of people have problems with that. People can download this free e-book, and then they get in a funnel plus active campaigns.
I’ve started digital advertising just now, 4 years after starting my business. In the beginning, you have to build a proof-of-concept, you need references. Then people are satisfied with you, and you earn enough money, then you can advertise to a broader audience.

There are people who come back after the program. I had a client, and he said: ‘I’m really happy. I'm satisfied now, so I don't need your coaching at this moment, but I don't say that I won't need it in the future. So I keep you in mind.” Some people come back after 6 months. Some people, for example, Paul Caspers whose reference I have on my website, said after the yearly course that he wanted to extend for another year.

Even a Solopreneur Must Delegate

I delegate my accounting, Linkedin advertising, some design for my working materials, and so on. A line of scaling my business is working with groups and people who have a team. At the moment I don't have an ambition to hire employees, because I like to work with entrepreneurs, I want to do my coaching job rather than managing personnel.
Another line of scaling for me is making a program more exclusive like as with dinners or special events for target groups. That's how I can scale my services. I just really want to make people happy, so that they could make the transformation from who they are now to another person who feels happier with their business and their character.

Sustainability

Nowadays, I’m running my business full-time. On Fridays, I don't work with clients, I just do some admin or develop new things for the business. Overall, it takes a couple of years if you have already created your own program/course. In my first year, I partly spent time developing my own program, I was a newcomer in this area of business. I started from scratch, so it took me more time to build up the network.

Then I had a couple of clients whom I successfully helped, and then every year I doubled my revenue. In comparison with some freelancers who just work by the hour and have a ‘revenue’ from the very first year, my growth was slower, but then it became more expansionary. Eventually, you need around a couple of years. Then if your business grows very well, and you get money than you’d earn in the hire.

Thank you for reading Laury’s story, hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you are looking to share your story, please leave use the form below and we will contact you back. Cheers!